Eczema in Babies

When we are new at being a parent it is articles like eczema in babies that gives us good information on baby skin care. Thank you for the help Claire Bowes.

Eczema in Babies - How to Treat Them

Eczema in Babies - How to Treat Them
By Claire Bowes

Very little of the literature for new mothers addresses eczema in babies. Afterall, eczema doesn’t fit in with the picture of the dewey, glowing baby all new parents imagine. Eczema in babies is fairly common though, and not too difficult to understand and treat.

Eczema is dry, scaly, itchy skin that appears irritated. Although not contagious, eczema can become infected if scratched. Infants can develop eczema almost anywhere, but behind the knees and elbows, and on the face, neck and belly are the most common sites. Eczema in infants tends to become crusty and weepy.

Treating your baby’s eczema can be relatively simple. Since eczema tends to rob the affected skin of moisture, keeping the skin adequately moisturized is the most important aspect of treatment. Limiting baths to two to three a week helps to keep the skin moist, and using a very mild soap like Aveeno, Dove or Cetaphil is important. Avoid anything with perfumes or dyes. Pat the skin dry, never rub, and immediately apply a thick moisturizer. Aquaphor and Eucerin are often recommended, but any mild, unscented, thick lotion will work. Many doctors recommend that lotions be applied four or five times daily to help keep the skin moist.

If the skin is irritated and red, a mild topical steroid like 1% hydrocortisone cream may be prescribed by your doctor to reduce inflammation. Many doctors and parents advocate putting socks or mittens over a baby’s hands to keep them from scratching affected skin.

Eczema should be carefully monitored for signs of infection. Any open, weeping or warm areas should be immediately treated, and your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to keep the infection under control.

Although often very frightening for new parents, eczema in babies can be managed with careful monitoring and constant moisturizing. Fortunately, many babies grow out of eczema by age five with no long lasting effects.


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